5 Hot Holiday Items for Under $50

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  • A lot of classic items are back in fashion -- but with a twist. Think merino wool socks and modern art puzzles.
  • Going green is not only trendy, it's important. Reusable everything is all the rage.
  • Taking care of ourselves and our spaces is vital. Help your loved ones unwind and stay organized with self-care items and handmade containers.

Savings will never go out of style.

Keeping your holiday budget intact can be a challenge (especially with wicked inflation). But you don't need to blow your finances to give everyone on your list a great gift. You can find tons of awesome stuff for less than $50 -- sometimes way less -- including some of the trendiest items this season. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Reusable necessities

Reducing your waste is one of those definitive things we can all agree is simply good. And many of the hottest products right now are those that help you do just that. You can find an easy-to-reuse replacement for just about any single-use item, especially those you use every day:

  • Water bottles
  • Shopping bags
  • Produce bags
  • Cotton wipes
  • Straws

You can buy an upscale version of a single product, or pair a good-quality mid-tier version of several together into a nice gift basket. (Bonus points if you package it in reusable packaging!)

2. Winter woolens

People have been using wool to keep warm for millenia, so that's nothing new. But this holiday trend isn't your grandparents' itchy wool sweater. We're talking about merino wool, a softer, finer type of wool grown only by Merino sheep. All of the warmth -- none of the itch.

Anything you'd consider buying in wool, you can usually find in merino. (Watch out for blends -- they often have a shocking amount of polyester or nylon.) While a merino shirt or sweater will likely set you back more than $50, you can find smaller items, like beanies and socks, well within budget.

3. Aesthetically pleasing puzzles

Puzzles are a classic gift that are making a comeback. Part art, part activity -- and all awesome. You can get puzzles in literally any shape or size (including this giant one from Costco), and with a design for any personality.

Love art? Grab a puzzle featuring a Picasso painting. Does your loved one go starry eyed for astronomy? Pick up a puzzle with a cool diagram of the solar system. You can even print custom puzzles from your own designs or photographs.

As for what size to get, that depends on your recipient. Something in the 100-piece range takes an average of 2 to 3 hours to complete, while it can take 16+ hours to tackle something with 2,000 or more pieces.

4. Self-care staples

With all that's going on in our lives, many of us are starting to realize the importance of taking time to ourselves to unwind and disconnect from the rest of the world. So why not give the gift of self care this holiday season?

You can stick to the usual spa staples -- soap, lotion, and candles -- which are easy to tailor to your recipient. If you want to go for something trendier, try a journaling set or a subscription to a meditation app like Calm.

5. Quirky containers

One of the common side effects of our busy lives is that we tend to accumulate -- well, everything. And it doesn't take long for that clutter to creep. Help your loved ones channel their inner Marie Kondo (or just get their dining room table back) with some fun-but-functional containers.

The options are basically endless. Some things that are currently popular on social media include hand-made trinket baskets and dedicated keepsake boxes.

Shop online for more savings

Another hot trend this holiday season? Everything is online. And that includes the best savings. You'll find lots of online-only specials and exclusive items. Pair retailer discounts with cash back rewards apps for an extra win.

Even if you want to hit the store, consider making your purchase online. Lots of retailers offer an extra discount for placing an online order for store pickup.

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